Unauthorized helicopter flights pose risk to Sagarmatha Park wildlife
February 14, 2020 01:27 PM NPT
SOLUKHUMBU, Feb 14: The Sagarmatha National Park officials recently seized two 'drone cameras' as they were being flown inside from the park premises without permission.
According to Park chief Bhumiraj Upadhyay, the advanced cameras were confiscated from the Jorsalle and Dole areas. The Park management is preparing to send them to the Department concerned.
Use of camera including drone without permission is unlawful, but the law is being violated by some people. In the past, the Park used to seize materials meant for ambushing the wildlife for poaching, but to date of the current fiscal year, no such materials have been found.
The Park that was established in 1976 covers a total area of 1,148 square kilometres.
The world's highest mountain peak Sagarmatha(Mount Everest) measuring 8,848 meters height, peaks above 8,000 meters such as Lhotse 8,516 meters , Cho Oyu 8,188 meters and peaks Nupse , Pumori, Amadablam and Thamsarku are the parts of the Sagarmatha Camp.
Here lie four major valleys named Gokyo, Khumbu, Chhukum and Nangapa which remain as tourist destinations.
Gokyo and Associated Lake were put in the Ramsar list in 2007. The Park is home to several species of animals and birds including musk dear, mountain bear, snow leopard, tahr, lophophorous, blood pheasant, mountain chicken and so on.
It welcomes of thousands of guests arriving to enjoy the mountain views, its natural mountain climbing, to observe the Sherpa culture and wildlife. The Park has remained in the World Heritage List since 1979 so several human activities are prohibited along the Park area. Helicopters operating illegally.
Helicopters are found flying and landing at Sagarmatha National Park area against the rule. Although helicopters should be flown and landed at the specific area, helicopters are found flown haphazardly in the name of rescuing tourists, complained Khumbu folks.
Lamakaji Sherpa of Namche said that such move has been making direct impact on animals and birds as well as hotel business at the area. Saying illegal flights operated at the area in recent period have made negative impact on life cycle of conserved animals and wildlife experts also expressed concern on it, said Park Chief.
The helicopters are found operating their service as per their wish without following the rule.
Lukla Airport has a record of takeoff and landing of helicopters up to 190 times in a day during tourism season. But there is no any record at Phakdin, Namche, Hotel Everest, Sagarmatah Base camp, among others, where helicopters used to be landed.